Colton Shaver's grand slam on Friday night led BYU to a 7-2 win over Pepperdine. (Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Colton Shaver’s first-inning grand slam set the tone and Brady Corless rolled on the mound in a 7-2 win over Pepperdine on Friday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
"One positive attribute we have as a team is that we have a short memory," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "We didn't play or pitch well yesterday, but we responded. We came out ready to go today."
BYU bounced back from Thursday’s loss to force Saturday’s rubber match. The Cougars improved to no worse than second place in the West Coast Conference with an 8-3 league mark and 19-13 overall record. Pepperdine fell to 17-16, 6-5.
Shaver gave the Cougars a crooked number in the first frame with his bomb on the first pitch he saw, and it cleared the left field scoreboard. He plated Tanner Chauncey (who extended his team-leading hitting streak to 11 games), Daniel Schneemann and Keaton Kringlen, who each singled to load the bases.
The big first baseman came into the game leading BYU in batting in WCC play (.417) and having hit a solo blast on Thursday against the Waves.
"It feels good to have Colton hitting again," Littlewood said. "He spent five weeks scuffling but started to show some good at-bats. We've sandwiched him in that sixth spot and he's driving in runs."
In the second inning, Chauncey and Kringlen cracked RBI singles to bring the Cougar cushion to six runs.
A pair of two-out hits in the top of the third brought home Pepperdine’s first run, as it trailed 6-1.
Schneemann came across for the second time in the bottom of the fourth inning. He walked, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a Bronson Larsen single for a 7-1 BYU lead.
Corless cruised through eight innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. He struck out nine, three fewer than the 12 he struck out vs. San Jose State earlier this season, and didn’t walk a single Wave to improve to 5-0. Riley Gates relieved Corless after the leadoff hitter got on in the top of the ninth.
"Brady got in a groove and relaxed," Littlewood said. "He was aggressive in the zone and simply made pitches. I would have loved to see him finish that game, but his pitch count was getting too high so we got him."
The series finale is on Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT. That game will be broadcast on TheW.tv, ESPN 960 AM and BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143).